SAN JOSE -- Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. today entered the microprocessor segment of the U.S. automotive chip market with the introduction of a 32-bit RISC-based IC for information display applications. The chip is the first to combine graphics display controller, SDRAM controller and dual CAN channels for automotive systems, said Toshiba.
The TMPR3916F is based on a 32-bit RISC architecture from MIPS Technologies Inc. and aimed at dashboard graphics, instrument clusters, and navigation systems, said Toshiba's U.S. chip operation. The IC integrates a dedicated graphics display controller, CAN (controller area network) modules, and peripherals for low-cost system solutions.
"Our targeted medium-size, thin-film transistor liquid crystal display automotive applications require a highly integrated, cost-effective solution not previously obtainable," said Tetsuro Wada, director of business development for the processor unit at Toshiba America Electronic Components. "Accordingly, we took a single chip approach and architected the TMPR3916F to minimize total system cost, including memory, and reduce development time.
"A single external DRAM in a by-32 configuration supplies all necessary graphics buffer and main memory," he said.
The TMPR3916F uses a unified memory architecture to provide the central processing unit with direct access to the display memory. Along with a built-in synchronous DRAM controller and serial communications interfaces, the processor has two integrated channels of CAN support for direct automotive networking.
The integrated processor IC is fabricated with a 0.35-micron CMOS process and housed in a 208-pin quad flat pack, measuring 28 mm by 28 mm with a 0.5-mm pitch. Mass production is slated to begin at Toshiba's fab in Iwate, Japan, in October. The initial production run is set at 100,000 pieces per month, according to Toshiba.
In quantities of 10,000, the device will sell for $20 each. Samples of the IC will be available in March.